Whew, that was rough. At one point behind 26-0 and with a laundry basket full of yellow flags (14 for 109 yards to be exact), there isn’t a ton to feel good about when looking for takeaways from tonight’s game. On top of that I now owe my Raiders buddy dinner too. For those of you who chose to spend your evening in a more enjoyable fashion (and those that didn’t), here’s some standouts from the Raiders visit to town.
Zane Gonzalez: Perfect on extra points and field goals, including a 45 yarder, hopefully the long drama of kicker issues is over in Arizona.
Pete Robertson: Robertson has racked up a second sack in as many games now in limited playing time. With a shaky OLB unit outside of Jones and Suggs, and pass rush depth as valuable as ever, let’s hope he keeps it up.
Brett Hundley: Not that it was much of a question, but Brett Hundley showed a firm grasp on the backup quarterback position. Going 10/15 and putting up the first touchdown of the night and he also picked up 26 rushing yards on 3 attempts. Like I mentioned last week, there’s some peace of mind to be had if Hundley can manage the role like this, should he need to.
Honorable Mention(s): Joshua Miles got his run with the reserves as LT, and he looked good, putting a couple defenders on the ground in the run and holding up in pass pro. Fellow rookies Andy Isabella and Caleb Wilson both bagged their first touchdowns in Cardinals jerseys, in fun fashion might I add. Trent Sherfield continues to make his argument for more snaps with a one of the bigger plays of the night with a 40 yard touchdown on his lone reception.
First Team Offensive Line: For the second week in a row the OL makes the Losers list. Yes, they are still down Justin Pugh, but Murray was under fire for most of his time on the field and space for David Johnson to make positive gains was hard to come by. It appears the budget approach to patching up the unit this offseason has not done the trick, at least this far into the preseason. It’s hard to be optimistic.
The Defense: Like the aforementioned unit, this group once again finds itself here. The Raiders were without their best player in Antonio Brown, but that didn’t stop them from marching down the field on multiple drives, including a few orchestrated by backup and former Cardinal Mike Glennon against the first team. No goal line turnovers to save the score this week. In 24 passing attempts from all three quarterbacks, the Cards allowed 21 completions. Not much was done to alleviate run defense concerns either.
Having already cut Darius Philon and with starting corners Patrick Peterson and Robert Alford both missing a chunk of the season, things are looking shaky for a unit that could potentially put a very young offense into some very tough spots.
Kyler Murray: Unlike last week, the young signal caller did look the part of the rookie this time. Peculiar issues with clap cadence penalties aside, there are probably a few throws #1 would like back. The offensive line didn’t help but playing under that pressure will be something he has some work to do in adjusting to moving forward.